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Herbs

On this page we aim to put as much information about herbs as we can. Click on the letters below to find the herb you are looking for. The lists also contain many other plants which may not be strictly classified as 'herbs'.

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Most of the herbs on the list are harmless, but some are highly poisonous, and some are dangerous in large doses. Some may be illegal in some countries. The information given is purely to educate - if you wish to use herbs medically then make sure you know exactly what you are doing. However, the magical uses which don't involve taking the herb internally are all safe, so you can experiment with the plants available to you until you find something you are happy with.

Herbs are very useful to us, we use them in cooking, incense, medicine, cosmetics, and many spells. Some of these uses are explained in more detail below:

Herb preparations

Different herbs need to be prepared in different ways to extract the chemicals which we need. The simplest herbal preparation is an infusion.

Infusions

Place the herbs (1tsp per cup of water) and water in a pan and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat and cover. Allow to infuse for between 5 and 20 minutes. Simple infusions such as peppermint tea are very easy to make, and very effective. Be careful you check the dosage for the particular herb you are using as some medical infusions require you to only drink small amounts. For barks, roots and seeds you need to use a decoction as boiling for a short time doesn't release enough of the goodness of the plant.

Decoctions

This method is used for tougher plant matter such as bark. Boil the herbs and water and simmer for at least 20 minutes.

Inhalations

Boil water and pour over herbs in a ceramic bowl. Inhale the herbal steam with a towel covering your head, forming a tent over the bowl. Inhalations are good to help sinusitis and respiratory complaints. Eucalyptus is often used. If chamomile is used, it makes a very good facial sauna.

Poultice

Mashed, usually warm, herbs are placed on the skin.

Fomentation

A compress made of a cloth is dipped in a strong infusion of the herb and placed on the skin.


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